This past Saturday’s Section IV Class C baseball championship was a game defined by two-out rallies from both squads with Trumansburg saving its best for last, scoring twice while down to its last out in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Lansing 4–3 at home on June 12.
“I really thought we just kept grinding, grinding, grinding throughout the game,” Trumansburg head coach Scott Voorhees said. “Credit to our kids for not hanging our heads and giving up and just keep battling and battling and battling, and finally it just swung our way in the bottom of the last inning there.”
The Bobcats jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the top of the first before the Blue Raiders got one back in the bottom half. Lansing starting pitcher Zachary Sperger retired the first two batters of the frame when Tanner Potter came up to the plate and singled to left field. Potter eventually stole second base during starting pitcher Ethan Fulton’s at-bat, who would trade places with Potter with a double to center to bring the score to 2–1.
Following a scoreless second inning by both clubs, Lansing threatened to extend its lead in the top of the third. With one gone, Gavin Dowell smacked a two-bagger to left center. Next up was Ben Vincent, who worked the count to 3–2 before grounding out to third baseman Cayden Hayes, though he was able to advance Dowell to third on the play. Gabe Santiago was next up at the dish, but Fulton would get him to fly out to left to end the inning.
Both pitchers held their opposing teams scoreless over the next couple of innings, neutralizing any scoring opportunities. Trumansburg had a runner on second with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but Sperger got the next two outs with a strikeout and then a foul out. In the top of the fifth, Fulton hit Sperger to lead off the inning, who would later steal second to put himself in scoring position. However, Fulton buckled down and retired the next three hitters to leave at no more than that.
The Blue Raiders finally broke the scoring drought by both teams in the bottom of the fifth. Bradley Addicott led things off with a base hit before moving over to second on a check-swing ground out off the bat of Garret Potter. Next up was leadoff man Lucas Taves, who whacked a 2–0 pitch to the left center gap, scoring Potter and knotting the game at two with one out. Jamie Schappi was able to advance Taves to third on a grounder to first, but Sperger got Tanner Potter to ground out to shortstop for the third out.
Lansing looked to respond in the top of the sixth, and was able to do just that. Fulton retired the first two batters of the inning before giving up a double and then a single to the next two batters as the Bobcats regained the lead 3–2.
Fulton led off the bottom half of the sixth, drawing a base on balls. After Dylan Higgins flew out to left, Hayes moved Fulton to second on a ground ball, passing the baton on to Wyatt Lansing. Sperger kept the Bobcats’ lead intact, though, getting Lansing to ground out to second for the third out.
The Blue Raiders held Lansing scoreless in the top of the seventh and entered the bottom half with its last licks. Addicott led off the inning, but wound up looking at a called third for the first out. Jayden Swanson came in to pinch hit for Garret Potter, but popped up the second pitch he saw from Sperger to second base for the second out.
With Trumansburg down to its final out, Taves stepped into the box and kept the team’s chances alive with a single to right center. Schappi then took a 1–2 pitch and blooped it into center, moving Taves to second, representing the tying run for the Blue Raiders with Tanner Potter coming up to hit.
Potter wasted no time, serving the first pitch he saw back up the gut for a single as Taves rounded third base and headed home to score to tie the game. On the play, Schappi rounded second and looked to move up another base. Vincent fielded Potter’s base hit from center and threw it back into the infield, which hit a cutoff man, who then slung it over to third in hopes of tagging out Schappi before he reached third. However, the throw was low in the dirt and skipped past third base, traveling out of bounds, thus allowing Schappi advance to home plate for the winning run where he was mobbed by the rest of his teammates.
“At first I didn’t know what was going on,” Schappi said. “I didn’t even realize it went by him. I was just trying to get there as fast as I could. I didn’t know where the ball was. … Once I realized that it got past him, I mean, I just couldn’t believe it honestly. It’s still surreal.”
Tanner Potter went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a run batted in (RBI) and a stolen base. Taves went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Fulton went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Addicott and Schappi each picked up a hit and scored a run.
“This is just a great program. A great win for our program; great win for our community,” Voorhees said.